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New Bowling Alley Set to Roll into Crystal City Next Year

A new bowling alley and restaurant is on the way for Crystal City.

Bowlero plans to open in a 44,000-square-foot space in the base of The Buchanan apartment building at 320 23rd Street S., per a press release. The company is targeting a “mid-2019” opening date, with construction set to start within the month.

The bowling alley will be Bowlero’s third in Northern Virginia, joining locations in Centreville and Leesburg. Per the release, Bowlero “features blacklight bowling lanes, laneside lounge seating, and [an] interactive arcade, all in a family-friendly setting,” and offers a full menu and bar.

Bowlero will move into a space once occupied by the tech company GDIT, and the Queen Amannisa Uyghur restaurant. The fate of the restaurant is a bit murky, however — a sign on the door says it will be relocating to a space next to Legal Sea Food, just down 23rd Street S., but a staff member would only tell ARLnow that the restaurant is currently undergoing renovations, and would not confirm the move.

The only other location adjacent to the Legal Sea Foods is an empty storefront along S. Clark Street between Legal Sea Foods and Virginia ABC. The site was once a Chiles, which closed in 2016.

Bowlero’s arrival in the neighborhood comes on the heels of a spate of changes for the 23rd Street corridor in Crystal City.

Not only are there new restaurants popping up like Federico’s and Los Tios, but JBG Smith is planning on adding an Alamo Drafthouse and other retail offerings nearby as part of its “Central District” project.

Vernon Miles contributed reporting to this story

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Stricter Ft. Myer Access Policy Extends to Bowling Center

With the new year, some Arlington residents are finding Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s recently-updated access policy also extends to the base’s bowling center.

According to an ARLnow.com reader, civilians are no longer allowed to bowl on base, in leagues or otherwise, except in certain circumstance. He said he and his friends have been bowling on base for years without incident.

“I’m told the bowling leagues were decimated since many team members were civilians,” the tipster said.

Civilians who are not escorted by someone with a Department of Defense ID are not being allowed on base to bowl, unless they have a special access pass, Robert Joswiak from the JBMHH public affairs office confirmed.

Joswiak said the security policy has not changed since it was updated nearly a year ago. Last summer, the same policy caused a stir among local cyclists who could no longer ride through base without first applying for and receiving an Automated Installation Entry (AIE) pass.

“Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall takes every precaution to assure the safety and wellbeing of joint base residents, personnel and visitors,” Joswiak said. “Non-affiliated members of the public are being turned away — no matter their intent of entering the base, bowling center or otherwise — because they either do not have an DoD ID, or are not being escorted by someone with a DoD ID, or do not have an AIE.”

Civilians, cyclists and bowlers can apply for an AIE for base access. If they do so with the sponsorship of a family member or friend with a valid Department of Defense ID, the approved AIE could be valid for up to one year. A non-sponsored AIE pass is valid for 60 days with the option to reapply after that time is up.

Joswiak added all non-affiliated individuals — those without a DoD ID who are not being escorted by someone with a DoD ID — must have a valid reason to enter the base and are subject to vetting. It is likely members of the public will be turned away unless they are escorted or have an AIE.

Questions regarding this policy can be directed to 703-696-8968, Joswiak said.

Photos via JBMHH

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Federal Employees Can Now Go Swimming at Ft. Myer

(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) If you’re a federal government employee, you’re now eligible to go swimming at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

The military base announced a policy change today that will open up most recreation facilities there to non-Department of Defense federal employees. Among the facilities that federal workers can now take advantage of are the Fort Myer Bowling Center and the Fort Myer Officers’ Club. The club has a swimming pool, tennis and racquetball courts and fine dining facilities.

Federal workers don’t have to be an Officers’ Club member to use the facilities, but they will have to pay a non-member fee. Official government ID is required to access the facilities. The policy change announced today also allows federal employees to join the Officers’ Club, if they wish.

The fitness centers and child development center at Fort Myer will continue to be for DoD personnel only.

The Officers’ Club and the bowling center can be accessed through the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Hatfield Gate.

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